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What is Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL)?

Did you know there are over 800,000 law enforcement officers serving in the US? These professionals work continually to improve their effectiveness in protecting their communities, and part of that involves using modern law enforcement software.

Automatic vehicle location systems are crucial when it comes to managing a fleet, but not everyone understands how this type of application works.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

So, What Is Automatic Vehicle Location?

In short, AVL is a system that uses GPS tracking to follow the location of vehicles in real time.

This information is then transmitted to a central software application so that fleet managers can see where all of their assets are at any given time. This allows for much better coordination and decision-making when it comes to managing a fleet of vehicles.

Additionally, the live location updates of units in the field can help improve employee safety.

How AVL Works

AVL systems usually consist of three main components:

  • GPS tracking devices that are installed on each vehicle
  • A central software application that collects and displays data from the tracking devices
  • An interface through which fleet managers can interact with the software

The GPS tracking devices used in AVL systems are usually quite small and can be easily installed on a vehicle.

They use satellite signals to determine their location and then transmit this information to the central software application using a cellular or radio connection. The software application then displays the location of each vehicle on a map in real-time, allowing fleet managers to see exactly where their assets are at any given time.

Types of AVL Systems

There are two primary types of AVL systems: active and passive.

Active systems are typically more expensive but offer a number of advantages over passive systems. For one, they allow for two-way communication between the tracking device and the software application. This means that fleet managers can not only see the location of each vehicle but also send commands to the devices themselves.

This type of system is often used in larger fleets where real-time communication is essential.

Passive systems, on the other hand, only allow for one-way communication from the tracking device to the software application. This means that fleet managers can see the location of each vehicle but cannot send any commands to the devices.

Passive systems are often used in smaller fleets or by companies that do not need the extra features offered by active systems.

What Are the Different Applications of AVL Systems?

There are many benefits that come with using an AVL system, such as improved coordination, increased efficiency, and better safety. Each of these plays a large role in optimizing your fleet management system.

Let’s take a closer look.

Improved Coordination

AVL systems can help to improve the coordination of police units.

For example, if a police officer needs backup, they can use their AVL system to see which other units are nearby and dispatch the closest one. This can help to reduce response times and ensure that officers always have the support they need.

Increased Efficiency

AVL systems can also help to increase the efficiency of police units.

For example, if dispatch needs to send units to areas where they are needed most, they can use AVL data to determine which areas have the most police activity. This helps to make sure that resources are being used as efficiently as possible.

Better Safety

The safety of police officers is also a key factor to consider.

For example, if data from AVL systems are used to monitor the speed and driving habits of police officers, this information can be used to provide feedback and training. Over time, you’ll improve officer safety and reduce the number of accidents.

Contextual Examples

Here is a brief example of how AVL might be used in a law enforcement context.

If a police officer needs backup, they can use their AVL system to see which other units are nearby and dispatch the closest one. This can help to improve response times and ensure that officers always have the support they need.

AVL systems can also be used to track the location of police vehicles so that dispatch can send units to areas where they are needed most. This helps to make sure that resources are being used as efficiently as possible.

Finally, AVL systems can be used to monitor the speed and driving habits of police officers. This data can then be used to provide feedback and training to help improve officer safety and reduce the number of accidents.

AVL Vs GPS

Many people think that AVL systems and GPS systems are the same. However, there are some important differences between the two.

GPS systems are designed to provide location data for a wide range of purposes. For example, you can use GPS to get directions, track your fitness activity, or find your way around a new city.

AVL systems, on the other hand, are specifically designed for fleet management. This means that they often have features that GPS systems don’t, such as real-time tracking and the ability to monitor driver behavior.

So, while GPS systems can be used for AVL purposes, they aren’t always the best choice. If you’re looking for a system that is specifically designed for fleet management, AVL is the way to go.

Understanding Automatic Vehicle Location Is Easier Than It Seems

Although automatic vehicle location software may seem complicated at first, it’s actually quite simple. Once you know the basics, you’ll be able to leverage it to improve key metrics at your agency.

Looking for other ways we can help you out in the future? Be sure to reach out to us today and see what we can do!

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